By Ray Hickson
Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Wednesday’s meeting at Canterbury Park. The track will start the day rated Soft 7.
|Race 1 – 12:50PM AUSTRALIAN TURF CLUB HANDICAP (1250 METRES)|
I’m not sure 3. Task And Purpose relished being ridden quite so close to the lead here a couple of weeks ago in the race won by Jen Rules. She was beaten less than a length so she wasn’t disgraced. With a couple of designated leaders here she’ll be able to park off the pace a bit and if she can find the line as she did on debut then I’d expect she’ll take plenty of holding out.
Danger: 8. Vitesse was unwanted in the betting at her only start back in March in a market that was stifled by Pure Elation being a short priced favourite. She did nothing of note in the race, sitting off the pace and just battling. But there was plenty to like her trial win at Rosehill on June 25 and it wouldn’t surprise if she jumps out of the ground. 1. Ready To Prophet has shown speed in her two recent trials so she’ll likely burn across from the outside and either lead or sit handy. Liked the first trial win over the short trip then run down over the 1045m. Keep safe. 6. Helga made ground in what I still think is a handy fillies race from Warwick Farm. She was back last and while no match for the first two home she made plenty of ground into fifth. Open to improvement and if she can stay in touch this time she could finish a lot closer.
How to play it: Task And Purpose WIN ($4.20 TAB Fixed Odds).
Task And Purpose’s last start at Canterbury on June 20, where she finishes close up in fifth
|Race 2 - 1:25PM TAB HANDICAP (1250 METRES)|
I’d be surprised if a few nice horses don’t come out of this two-year-old event. While he’s struck a solid race I have to go with 9. Nobu who really caught the eye at his only trial at Rosehill on June 25, getting back and working to the line under his own steam. I like him kicking off at 1250m as opposed to a real sprint trip and there should be some early pressure to allow the backmarkers to run on. I can’t be really bullish but he’s certainly priced appealingly (each-way) given how well he trialled.
Dangers: 10. Nordicus is a real blue blood being by It’s A Dundeel out of former star Miss Finland and, like Nobu, is starting off at a trip that will allow him to be competitive. Both his trials have been excellent and he extended nicely late in winning his second trial on the same day as Nobu. Commands some respect. 1. Ljungberg didn’t go down without a fight after leading and finding Misteed just a shade stronger first-up a month ago. Task And Purpose ran third in that race so her performance in the first will be interesting from a form pointer perspective. Has to go forward from the gate and he’s a big chance. 15. Plenty hasn’t done a lot on paper in his two starts to date but I’m wary of him as he trialled well prior to his first campaign and is again trialling impressively this time around. I’d love to know what he had under the hood when he ran into third at Rosehill on June 25 in fast time. Wouldn’t leave him out.
How to play it: Nobu E/W ($14 TAB Fixed Odds).
Nobu hits the line nicely late in his trial at Rosehill on June 25
|Race 3 – 2:00PM #THERACES HANDICAP (1250 METRES)|
I don’t think there’s any doubt 5. Buffy produced a career best effort as she chased home the smart Seasons over the same course two weeks ago. The question is can she reproduce that performance without a horse like Seasons in the race to lift her to that level. If she can then this race is hers for the taking. There was a huge gap back to third and she didn’t look to be stopping, with Punters Intel data showing she ran her last 600m in just 0.12 slower than the winner and the last 200m in only 0.05 slower. Races on the pace, can lead if needed, and gets her chance at a city win.
Dangers: 4. Ready For Love comes through the same race as Buffy and while beaten 11 lengths there it still wasn’t a bad run as she turned last and ran on. Should be nice and fit now after the two runs back and any improvement in the track is a plus for her. 3. Miss Imagination is a likely improver too. She kept trying third-up a month ago in a similar race to this where the winner controlled the speed and won comfortably. Again, if we are in the soft range it helps her cause and I can see her running well. 6. Lady I Am loomed up to win and didn’t finish off as favourite fresh at Newcastle and while this is a very winnable race she will need to go up a notch or two on that run to be a serious chance. Still, likely to be fitter and is not out of it despite being a bit under the odds for mine.
How to play it: Buffy WIN ($2.80 TAB Fixed Odds).
Buffy chases home Seasons at Canterbury on June 20
|Race 4 – 2.35PM RIBCHESTER NEW TO DARLEY HANDICAP (1550 METRES)|
This race is up for grabs and I thought 2. Hammond Lane was over the odds given the form around his latest effort at Canterbury, narrowly beaten by Coonawarra. Meets the third placed Smart As better at the weights and he should be just about ready to win now fourth-up. I can see him sitting midfield or a bit better and he should take plenty of holding out late. At worst he’s an excellent each-way hope.
Dangers: 5. Laussel takes on all comers for the first time this prep and she’s back in trip from a game second at Randwick a month ago where she hit the lead and was reeled in late by Jolly Honour. That was her first try on a wet track and she was brave. Strong claims. 6. Smart As looks the leader and appeared to have his chance in third behind Coonawarra. Didn’t give up the fight and while Jay Ford goes back on board it means she’s 3kg worse off compared to Hammond Lane. But, weights and measures don’t always work out and she’ll give a good sight. 1. Imanui might have run tenth when resuming at Rosehill but he still found the line nicely late suggesting he’s in for another good campaign. He hasn’t won for a while but he does fire second-up and in the wet so no surprise to see him take a hand in the finish of a race where just about all eight runners have some case.
How to play it: Hammond Lane E/W (1-2) ($6.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Hammond Lane makes a late dive to just miss at Canterbury on June 20 with Smart As in third.
|Race 5 – 3.10PM EVEREST 100 DAYS TO GO SPRINT (1100 METRES)|
It seems Team Hawkes has been waiting for the right race for 5. Empress Matilda since her solid first-up effort on the Kensington track a month ago and, bingo, here it is. She had to work overtime from the outside gate fresh to get up alongside Alassio and while she couldn’t keep it up she didn’t drop out and was only beaten two lengths and a bit. From the kind draw this time she’ll be afforded the run of the race, according to how I see it playing out, she handles the soft to heavy and it looks tailor made for her to at least go very close.
Dangers: 1. Bella Vella comes out of the same race where she finished off from the second half, after also drawing wide, to run into third, just over half a length ahead of Empress Matilda. She’s consistent and should go forward this time around, handles the wet and I think the Alassio race is the right formline given it also contained last week’s winner Vienna Romance. 11. Unwise really had to scramble to break through at Kembla Grange second-up and while she did struggle as a $1.35 favourite she got the job done and could be the one sitting off them and having the last shot. Whether she handles the class rise we’ll find out but she’s worth including. 7. We Have Lift Off is now with the Waterhouse/Bott stable and has won two trials heading into this race. She opened up a big lead in the latest at Hawkesbury and did it well enough, she won first-up over this course back in December and if she’s somehow able to dictate she could take running down.
How to play it: Empress Matilda WIN ($4.40 TAB Fixed Odds).
Empress Matilda’s first-up fourth on the Kensington track on June 11 after working hard early
|Race 6 - 3:45PM WINTER RACING HANDICAP (1250 METRES)|
11. El Dorado Mine might have gone up a level this preparation as he looked so good winning first-up at Warwick Farm three weeks ago. He sat just of them, loomed at the right time and was edging away from Magicus, runner-up again last week, in the last 100m as he ran the fastest last 600m of the race in 35.36 and was the only horse to break 12 seconds (11.99) for the last 200m (Punters Intel). Again drawn to stalk and gets an extra 50m which is to his advantage and I can’t see why he won’t run very well again.
Dangers: 8. Medovina has proven very costly in two starts since beating Buffy at Kembla in April. Led them on the Kensington track when $1.60 and looked to have a good enough time of it in front to be able to kick on but she was collared quite easily by High Mist who then won again on a Saturday. Doubt she’ll lead here and she could be worth another chance. 5. Mad For Art was scratched from Saturday to run here and was never really going to be beaten last time out over this course a month ago. Will press forward again from the wide gate and he’ll give another good account of himself. 1. Piannisimo doesn’t win out of turn but has put three good runs together this time in. Chased home Mad For Art then charged late at Rosehill to run second to Manolo Blahniq. He’ll be thereabouts again, it’s just hard to be super confident in him to get the job done.
How to play it: El Dorado Mine E/W ($6.50 TAB Fixed Odds).
El Dorado Mine finishes too well to win first-up at Warwick Farm on June 13
|Race 7 - 4:20PM TAB REWARDS HANDICAP (1900 METRES)|
This race couldn't be a tougher one to wind up the day. 8. Walk The Streets is on the back up after failing at Rosehill last Saturday but we’ve seen form reversals from some of her stablemates in the past under similar circumstances, notably Mutarakem a couple of weeks back. Her efforts in midweek company prior to two runs in Saturday grade were okay and she was hard in the market too. No surprise to see her improve sharply.
Dangers: 5. Prescience is a big market watch first-up from a year off at a suitable trip for him and he was a last start winner on a heavy at Sandown so the ground isn’t a huge worry. Two quiet trials in Queensland and he’s proven himself able to run well fresh. If there’s some support for him he can run well despite the layoff. 6. Bochy started a solid favourite at Muswellbrook second-up and was a bit too strong. He has a consistent record out of town and this is a pretty open race, he handles the wet and he’s likely to be competitive. 3. Balmain Boy was never in the hunt in Saturday company last time out and has been back to the trials for a confidence booster. Generally races on the pace when he draws well so he should be around the mark and is always capable of being in the finish.
How to play it: Walk The Streets E/W ($6.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Walk The Streets can improve on a disappointing run at Rosehill last Saturday